April 19, 2007

We are Virginia Tech


Less than a week ago a disturbed young man created havoc on the campus of Virginia Tech. I wrote about it here on the Electronic Village. Frankly, the incident riveted our nation for a variety of reasons.

I thought the most healing words coming out of the tragic aftermath of this violence came from noted poet and educator, Nikki Giovanni, when she gave closing remarks at the convocation held in Blackburg, VA earlier this week.

You can click here to see the video of her remarks. Village drumbeats to Professor Kim for pointing out the transcript to us.

We are Virginia Tech.
We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.
We are Virginia Tech.
We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.
We are Virginia Tech.
We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.
We are Virginia Tech.
The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.
We are the Hokies.
We will prevail. We will prevail. We will prevail.
We are Virginia Tech.
Nikkie Giovanni is truly a remarkable woman who grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1987, she has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor. I encourage all villagers to visit her website if you haven't heard of her before.

4 comments:

Lori said...

Thanks for posting Ms. Giovanni's words. What a mix . . . some painful truths and a bit of healing balm.

Villager said...

lori - For whatever reason, I didn't see the VT convocation when it was broadcast live. Therefore, I only came across Ms. Giovanni's words much later. I'm glad that you enjoyed seeing them (and perhaps hearing the YouTube version) from here in the Electronic Village.

peace, Villager

Yemi said...

I never saw her speech but I really like what she said and the way she made her points.

Villager said...

Yemi - Click here to see her deliver the words. It is a powerful 2-3 minute visual.

peace, Villager